US adviser Bolton visits Ukraine, touts Trump meeting with Zelenskiy

US adviser Bolton visits Ukraine, touts Trump meeting with Zelenskiy

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and U.S. Embassy Charge d'Affairs William Taylor at
US National Security Adviser John Bolton and US Embassy Charge d'Affairs William Taylor attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial for soldiers killed in a recent conflict in eastern Ukraine, in Kiev, Ukraine Aug 27, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

KIEV: US National Security Adviser John Bolton flew into Kiev on Tuesday (Aug 27) for talks to gauge Ukraine's new authorities and touted a possible meeting between comic-turned-president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and US President Donald Trump.

Bolton's visit was the first by a senior US official since Zelenskiy swept to power in Ukraine. Washington is a key ally for Kiev, having imposed sanctions on Russia for annexing Crimea in 2014 and backing pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine's east.

READ: US adviser Bolton set to visit Ukraine, he says on Twitter

The pro-Western Zelenskiy, a television comedy star, scored a landslide election victory in the former Soviet republic in May and strengthened his power base at a parliamentary election last month.

"For me this is an opportunity to talk about some priorities we have and really also, because of the new administration here, to hear their priorities," Bolton told reporters, adding that a meeting between Trump and Zelenskiy could happen soon.

"We expect to have a chance for the two of them to talk in Poland," he said, without giving a possible date.

Trump is expected to travel to Poland and Denmark from Aug 31 to Sep 3, the White House said last month.

Bolton also used a briefing with reporters to warn of what he said was the threat to countries of being lured into business deals with China by attractive financial terms and of becoming dependent on Chinese money. "We call this debt diplomacy. It is a very serious problem," he said.

Neighbouring Belarus's presidential office said on Tuesday that Bolton was due to travel to Belarus and to meet President Alexander Lukashenko. Minsk gave no date, but said the meeting would not be before Thursday.

Source: Reuters/nr